Vaccination policy in councils varies

Councils in the South are still working through discussions with unvaccinated staff.

Several councils have been vague about the impact of Covid-19 vaccine mandates to date, but one acknowledged some services had to adapt.

The Otago Daily Times asked councils in Otago and Southland about employment implications from vaccine mandates after the Christchurch City Council confirmed 13 staff had their contracts terminated because of their vaccination status.

The Dunedin City Council implemented a policy last month requiring vaccine passes for entry into facilities it described as public-facing.

A spokesman last week said the council was still working through a process with staff.

Otago Regional Council chief executive Sarah Gardner said the council opened consultation with staff on a proposed vaccination policy before Christmas.

That process had not yet concluded.

"At this stage, there has been no impact on staff or service levels," Mrs Gardner said.

The Southland District Council declined to comment on the vaccination status of staff.

"Our focus is on ensuring full council services are maintained for our community," a spokeswoman said.

The Clutha District Council was forthcoming with information.

Six staff had discussions with management about their employment because of their vaccination status, a spokeswoman said.

The council was continuing to carry out a confidential consultation process with unvaccinated staff, she said.

The council had made a change to the opening hours of the Clutha i-Site and minor changes at the Milton pool.

Gore District Council chief financial officer Lornae Straith said it was important to remember local government was not one of the sectors for which the Government mandated vaccinations.

The council had not made it mandatory for staff to be vaccinated.

There had been no changes to the council’s levels of service under the Red setting of the Government’s Covid-19 traffic light system.